AUGUSTA, Maine — The first financial filings in Maine’s 2018 gubernatorial campaign confirmed that Democrat Adam Cote and Republican Mary Mayhew are on track to run formidable campaigns to replace Gov. Paul LePage.
They were the only major privately financed Blaine House candidates who declared their candidacies during the second quarter of 2017. Updated reports for that period were due to the Maine Ethics Commission on Monday.
Cote, a Sanford attorney, raised a total $265,000 between his April 19 announcement and June’s end, according to Monday filings with the Maine Ethics Commission. In a statement, Cote’s campaign compared his haul to former U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud’s total of $313,000 at the same time in the Democrat’s failed 2014 race against Gov. Paul LePage.
That needs some context: While Michaud was the presumptive nominee and a sixth-term congressman, he raised that in less than a month. Still, it’s a good showing for Cote, who has to navigate a field with a political resume that only includes a 2008 congressional primary bid.
Mayhew, a former Maine Department of Health and Human Services commissioner from South China, raised $91,000 through June’s end — a less impressive figure than Cote’s until you consider that she only announced her campaign on June 6. Her per-day total was higher.
There were no major surprises on either donor list: Cote got maximum $1,600 contributions from former Maine Democratic Party Chairman Kevin Mattson, Michaud 2014 campaign manager Matt McTighe and 2010 gubernatorial candidate Rosa Scarcelli, while Mayhew got them from hotelier Peter Anastos and Maine Hospital Association President Steven Michaud.
The two are running in different primary environments: Cote has to navigate a field with Attorney General Janet Mills of Farmington and former Maine House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick, neither of whom declared early enough to be required to hit Monday’s deadline.
Mayhew is the only major Republican in so far, with other potential hopefuls including former Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett of Norway, Maine Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason and Newport lobbyist Josh Tardy awaiting a decision from U.S. Sen. Susan Collins on whether she’ll run.
This item was originally published in Daily Brief, a free political newsletter distributed Monday through Friday by the Bangor Daily News to inform dialogue about Maine politics and government. To read more of today’s Daily Brief, click here. To have the Daily Brief delivered daily to your inbox, click here.